The WHO recommends active video games for staying healthy at home


The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent out a tweet with a list of a few different things that people can do in order to stay healthy while in lockdown at home. None of the activities require you to leave your house, a key part of helping slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). One of them might catch some of you by surprise, though: “Play active video games”.

Yes, right in the middle of these activities is a recommendation for playing (specific types of) games. At least 30 minutes is recommended for adults and an hour for children. And, of course, while VR games might count as active because users are standing up and moving around, we all know that Nintendo consoles are where you can play the really active games.

Staying active with video games

Anyone with a Nintendo Switch has a few different options for this. Chief among these is Ring Fit Adventure, a game that is designed to keep players active. In fact, the game’s activities encompass all of the other recommendations made by the WHO. On top of getting your daily exercise, you’ll also be progressing through the game’s story, battling monsters, and saving the world from a bench-pressing evil.

There are a few other games that would be good for keeping players active on the Switch. You’ll just have to make sure you play them using more than just your wrist. Mario Tennis Aces, for example, can really get the blood pumping if you let yourself go and run around the room for those drop shots. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, there’s always Fitness Boxing, Just Dance 2020, Zumba Burn It Up!, or Sports Party.

If you don’t own a Nintendo Switch, though, it could be time to dust off your Wii. We all know the iconic game that most people bought the console for, Wii Sports, and the follow-up, Wii Sports Resort. Or maybe you could try that other sports game, Go Vacation. These might not be the most active games on the console, but they will get you up and moving for around 30-60 minutes every day. The Wii was an amazing console, and you might just rediscover your love for it if you dig it out of the attic.

With all active video games, there’s no right or wrong way to play. No one is going to judge you for poor technique or running out of breath too quickly. Let yourself go, stay active, and stay safe during this period of uncertainty.


Jamie Sharp
Started out playing Metroid 2 on the GameBoy at around 5 years-old, and now I write about games all day long. Can't play Switch and drive, I've tried. As time goes on the Switch is quickly becoming my favourite console of all time.